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Antelope to mule deer at 500 yds

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by cmdc, Aug 19, 2013.

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  1. cmdc

    cmdc Member

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    What round would you recommend for this application?
     
  2. back40

    back40 Member

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    what is your experience with long range hunting or shooting?
     
  3. adelbridge

    adelbridge Member

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    7 mm rem mag 168 grain vld
     
  4. rule303

    rule303 Member

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    Something along the lines of a .25-06, .260 Rem, .257 Wby, or 6.5x284 and lots of practice. There are VERY few hunters that have any business shooting at game at 500yds.
     
  5. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    As far as the cartridge, I would say .270 WSM is the cat's meow for long range shooting.
    However, I'm not confident enough in my abilities to attempt a 500 yd shot. You may be however. It's definitely not something you want to do without a lot of rounds downrange practicing it.
     
  6. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    Anything from .25-'06 on up to .300 Win Mag--and a whole bunch of practicing. Memorize trajectory. Become really, really good at doping the wind.

    Example: Back 40, maybe 45 years ago, I was quite competent for killing Bambi within around 300 yards. So one day I saw a nice buck, but it was a way-over-yonder shot.

    I guesstimated 400 yards, and allowed for the wind by holding about on his nose for a drift to the heart. Held two feet above his heart area (zeroed for 200).

    Heh. Bangity, bangity, no joy. Finally, he lifted a hind foot and sniffed.

    Probably 550 yards, and more wind than I'd thought.

    I stopped my foolishness. Unfortunately for him, he came down the hillside toward me. The wind dropped off. He stopped, facing me, and posed quite prettily. I held on top of his antlers; hit him low in the chest. Bang, whop, plop at about 450. Tasted good...

    Real easy to feel plumb stoopid, though. :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2013
  7. Abel

    Abel Member

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    Mule deer at 400+ yards. I'd go 280 Rem or maybe 7mm WSM.
     
  8. pdsmith505

    pdsmith505 Member

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    I'd recommend walking 'round the clearing keeping down-wind to within 300 yds...

    OTOH, I've taken elk upwards of 350-400 yds with a 7mm Rem Mag. So i'm kind of fond of it...
     
  9. dvdcrr

    dvdcrr member

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    270 wsm
    130-140 gr. @ 3250 fps.
     
  10. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    I'd recommend a .308 or something you can afford to shoot at 500 yards several hundred or thousand rounds until you get good enough to risk a shot at a game animal 500 yards away.

    That's a fur piece in case you have never actually seen how much wind drift can move a bullet.
    Or how far an animal can move with one step while the bullet is in the air.

    500 yards is too far for 95% of the hunters in America to even consider taking a shot at, if you want a clean ethical kill, part of the time.

    And not a bunch of wounded animals running off to never be recovered.

    BTW: You also need a 500 yard range or piece of land you can shoot a few hundred or thousand rounds in practice on before going hunting at 500 yards the first time!!

    rc
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2013
  11. witchhunter

    witchhunter Member

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    I agree with RC, as usual. Most guys do not KNOW where they will hit at 500 yards. That is a long poke for a hunting situation as opposed to a benchrest with marked yardage. Practice, a lot. The caliber probably makes little difference, the ability to dope wind and distance and still hit an animal with a kill shot is practice.
     
  12. Captcurt

    Captcurt Member

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    Too many variables for me. I have the guns, in a 257 Weatherby and a Savage in 300 WSM, but I don't feel confident beyond 400 yards and then only with a good range finder and perfect conditions. Is the wind 10 mph or 15 and is it blowing perpendicular or at an angle? Is the shot on the level or an incline. You have to know these things or you may be in for a long day of trailing.
     
  13. CountGlockulla

    CountGlockulla Member

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    Last edited: Aug 19, 2013
  14. cmdc

    cmdc Member

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    I am in full agreement with your admonitions regarding the ability to take a shot that long. I have a 1000 yd range nearby, so i have the ability to practice. I will be going hunting in wide open country next year, and it is my intent to get a rifle capable of making those kinds of shots if the need arises, and practicing with it. A lot. I am not looking to make a 500 yd shot just for the sake of doing it, but want me and my equipment to be up to the task if the opportunity arose. I agree also that it would be best to get closer to the game animal rather than risking a low-perentage shot and needlessly wounding it.

    I had thought of the 7mm Rem Mag and the 270 WSM as well, or even the 300 WSM, but wanted to get some input.

    I would appreciate some rifle recommendations as well. I am left handed.
     
  15. Lone Star

    Lone Star Member

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    Generally speaking , if a .270 Winchester won't do the job, you're tryng to shoot too far off. Jack O'Connor killed at least one elk at 600 yards when he couldn't get closer, but he normally avoided such long shots.

    The .257 Weatherby is probably made to measure for this sort of thing, if you like relatively short barrel life and their MK V rifles.

    A .270, .280, even the 7X57mm or 7mm-08 are normally enough for pronghorn. Bullets from 130-140 grains are probably best.

    I've never hunted them, but have observed them in the field and I've talked to men who have hunted them. They say that most shots range from 150-400 yards. Few feel confident about shots beyond 400 yrds.

    How does pronghorn meat taste, compared to deer? I've heard widely differing opinions. I gather that some glands on the legs need to be removed without letting them touch the meat.
     
  16. hipoint

    hipoint Member

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    this is just heresay, but I heard some states have regulations on how far you can take a shot. I had heard such as alaska and bear hunting you have to be pretty close... Just something to look into before taking all that time to practice/acquire certain rifles.

    I envy you, I wish we had a place around here to practice truly long range shots at, sadly we do not.

    most normal large game rifles would probably be pretty good for that range provided you can hit what you aim at. RC's .308 suggestion would do just fine.
    One of my best shooting buddies lives in alabama and he gets some serious range time in with a .30-06 and can do some pretty amazing shots with it as well. he is using a thompson venture.
    I'm partial to the .30's myself, I just like the ability to go from light 125 grain bullets up to 200 + grain depending on the load. a 300wsm is nothing to scoff at and while I didn't personally see it, my cousin shot a deer at 600 yards with his 300wsm and dropped it like a sack of taters with a head shot... Personally I feel that was more luck than skill, BUT, he did aim for the head...
     
  17. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

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    There are lots of rounds that can make a clean kill at five football fields, but very few shooters who can pull it off.

    I would only try on a calm day, after ranging it with my rangefinder, and if I could build a very steady position. And I have done a good deal of shooting out to the 800 yard mark (which is why I know how difficult 500+ yard shots can be).

    If I did do it, it would be with my .25-06 or my 8mm Mag-my two primary big game rifles. Both are consistently sub-MOA with my hand loads, have pretty flat trajectories, and I'm confident behind them.

    Remember, a rifle that shoots 1" groups at 100 will most likely shoot groups of at least 5" at 500, likely wider. With the 10"-12" kill zone on a deer, that means that the shooter also has to be 1 MOA capable. Not easy in the field.
     
  18. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

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    I wouldn't take a shot at that range outside of some very specific conditions.

    "knowing your limitations" is no small accomplishment. If you can't practice that far, the time to learn isn't when it's the moment of truth.

    Shooting off sandbags and a bench isn't a bipod or a pack or even a fence post in 'wide open country'

    By all means, buy a rifle that CAN shoot that far, but do yourself a favor and shoot it a lot, on the bench and off at varying ranges known and unknown.
     
  19. cmdc

    cmdc Member

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    I want you to know that I am not about to attempt that kind of shot at an animal until I acquire the skills. I do shoot at the 1000 yd range near me with other rifles. I'm OK to 400-500 yds on stationary targets in controlled conditions, but that's a lot different I know, from field conditions. I'm not there yet, but I'm working on it. I simply want to have the skills and the best rifle/caliber for longer range hunting.
     
  20. Eb1

    Eb1 Member

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    I'd use my .25-06 with a Combined Technologies 115 grain Ballistic Tip.
     
  21. Ridgerunner665

    Ridgerunner665 Member

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    Heres mine...30-06.

    2012-11-16_14-47-36_692.jpg

    But any of the high muzzle velocity rounds from 270 Win on up would do...
     
  22. CountGlockulla

    CountGlockulla Member

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    Ill just vote any non-magnum long action .25 cal and up or short action 260/7-08/308.
     
  23. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

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  24. 788Ham

    788Ham Member

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    cmdc,

    If one has to ask what round to use, for shooting that far, you'd best not think of doing it. Too many animals have been left to die an agonizing death because someone didn't know what they were doing. Best stay at the 250 yards and less... just to be safe. Then use and '06.
     
  25. Grunt

    Grunt Member

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    Personally, I stick with .308 Winchester. First, ammo is easy to get, components are everywhere (well, OK, I can't find any CCI BR-2 primers here as of late but I still have a good supply of primers and loaded ammo) and it's a pretty accurate round. The big thing here is that this round allows you to get in a lot of practice that is a must have for long range shooting. Back home in ND, my hunting area has ranges starting at 200m and goes out to a little over 800m. My buck last year was at 423m and my longest shot for that area has been 680m running 168 grain BTHP match grade reloads though my M1A. Again, this is with just the plain Jane old fashioned .308 Winchester round.
    There's routines I go through to make sure I am getting 1-shot kills. First, like I said earlier, practice, practice, practice! Shooting like that has no place for the duffer that goes out and fires maybe a 20 round box of ammo the entire year to include zeroing!
    Next, keep a detailed dope book. You need to be able to know where those rounds are going under every condition you are going to be shooting in. Then there is doping the wind. Wind meters are nice to have and I use them as well. However, they only tell you the wind speed at your location. You need to be able to read the sings all the way to where the target is. Watch the grass or dust, watch the mirage through your optics and get an idea of what the speed is and what direction it's coming from. You also need to have an accurate way of ranging the target area. I use several options here to include a Leica range finder, Mil-dot reticles in my scope and in the off season, I will take the time to go out and get accurate measurements from where I shoot at to prominent terrain features then incorporate that into a range card I keep in my dope book that goes along with me to the field as well.
    That brings me to equipment. Don't skimp here! Shooting at long ranges is sort of like a 3-legged stool. You have the shooter, the weapon and the ammo. Any one of those legs of this stool aren't strong enough to support the weight, the whole thing collapses and you find yourself on your ass on the floor! You need to keep yourself as a strong leg with that constant practice. But the best shot in the world with top quality ammo is still going to have problems with the inaccurate rifle and the most accurate rifleman with the best rifle is still not going to be effective trying to blast away with junk ammo! Long distance shooting requires all 3 of these things to be outstanding in their performance and you will get what you pay for. I'm not saying that you need to take out a second mortgage to fund this but if you try to go with a Bubba special Mosin-Nagant with a cheap Barska scope shooting Wolf or Tula ammo, you aren't going to perform very well either.
     
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